Railway keymen want shorter 'beat length'

They walk 8 km every day inspecting every crack and every nut and bolt to detect defects on tracks

The National Federation of Indian Railwaymen (NFIR) have written to the board stating that the 2.2 lakh keymen on the payroll of the national transporter, who are considered railways' last line of defence against safety issues actually walk double their beat length - to and fro - carrying equipment and other necessities which weigh around 14 kg. (DH file photo)

Railways keymen, who walk 8 km every day inspecting every crack and every nut and bolt to detect defects on tracks and ensure their repair in time for trains to pass, have pleaded with the railway board to reduce their 'beat length' to 3 km, which, they say, will improve safety.

The National Federation of Indian Railwaymen (NFIR) have written to the board stating that the 2.2 lakh keymen on the payroll of the national transporter, who are considered railways' last line of defence against safety issues actually walk double their beat length - to and fro - carrying equipment and other necessities which weigh around 14 kg.

The NFIR has reiterated its demand to the Railway Board in a letter dated June 22, referring to its earlier March 20 latter, "explaining the need to reduce the beat length of Track Maintainer-Il, performing the duties of keyman to 3 Kms..."

"NFIR once again urges upon the Railway Board to kindly look into the merits explained in the said communication of the Federation and issue suitable instructions to the Zonal Railways for reducing the beat length of Track Maintainer-Il deployed to perform the duties of keyman," said the letter dated June 22 to the board.

In the earlier letter, the union had in detail listed out the need to reduce the beat length that is given to these men for inspection.

"Daily walk on uneven and rough track with a heavy load of mandatory equipment on the body for such a long distance while doing a lot of work and keeping alertness is quite a demanding task, therefore the beat length of keyman needs to be reduced.

"Better maintenance of fittings will be achieved through "beat," which will improve safety," the letter said.

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Railway keymen want shorter 'beat length'

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